only the leadoff track was any good
too much dream pop

Grade - 1.3

released Mar 1st, 2011

from the album - Mollys Vertigo - 1.5

from all music


Though their band, Standing Nudes, broke up in 2007, musicians and friends Jason Klauber and Molly Shea knew they wanted to continue making music together. The two -- who'd known each other since their time at Oberlin College, where they met after a mutual friend played some of Shea's songs to Klauber and formed the first configuration of Standing Nudes -- decided to take things in a different direction than what they'd previously done. Drawing inspiration from Fleetwood Mac, Gram Parsons, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, among others, and calling themselves Acrylics, the pair set out writing songs from this era of pop music. Their first recordings were made in Klauber's basement, also home to roommate Patrick Wimberly's (from Chairlift) studio. Eventually, three more members (Travis Rosenberg on drums, Jake Aron on bass, and Sam Ubl on drums) were added, and the five-piece band began playing shows on its Brooklyn home turf. At one of these shows (and their second ever), Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor approached them and asked if they'd like to release music on his nascent label, Terrible Records. After producing their songs at Taylor's studios, Acrylics released the EP All of the Fire in October 2009, around the same time that they played a handful of well-publicized shows at New York's CMJ Festival. The pair worked on their debut album over the course of two years with producers Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift), Matt Boynton (Gang Gang Dance, MGMT), Britt Myers (Yeasayer, Chairlift), and mastering engineer Chris Gehringer (Rihanna, Drake, Nas). The result, Lives and Treasure, arrived in 2011.

Album Review

Molly Shea and Jason Klauber, better known as the duo Acrylics, spent the better part of two years crafting their debut album, Lives and Treasure, with three producers, resulting in a set of songs far more polished than their first EP, All of the Fire. As on that release, synth pop and soft rock dominate here, but Acrylics' sound is much wider than those two styles. Shea and Klauber's approaches are distinct; she favors shimmery electro-pop and cooing vocals that evoke Kate Bush as much as they do Olivia Newton-John, while he trades in earnest, earth-toned vocals and acoustic guitars. Most of Lives and Treasure alternates between their respective styles, with her “Nightwatch” and “Sparrow Song” and his “The Window” emerging as respective highlights. However, alchemy occurs when Acrylics manage to incorporate their individual styles, as on the gossamer-smooth “Molly’s Vertigo” and “Asian Pear,” which effortlessly blends Klauber's voice and strumming into Shea's synth dream world.

Track Listing

1 Counting Sheep
2 Molly's Vertigo
3 The Window
4 Sparrow Song
5 Nightwatch
6 Tortoise Shell Shades
7 It's Cool Here
8 Asian Pear
9 Lives and Treasure
10 The Catacombs